THE BOMB IN MY GARDEN: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind

Mahdi Obeidi, Author, Kurt Pitzer, Author . Wiley $24.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-471-67965-3

This compact and absorbing book reads like a thriller and adds considerably to our knowledge of the Iraq WMD situation. Obeidi was a trained engineer in the Iraqi oil industry, but his brilliant record led to his transfer to the nuclear weapons program. After the bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor by Israel in 1981, he spearheaded the search for a working centrifuge as the best method of enriching fissionable material for a bomb. That work also involved him in a number of situations worthy of James Bond, as he sought classified knowledge and key components all over the world, under surveillance from both Saddam Hussein (and Saddam's son-in-law, the vividly portrayed Hussein Kamel) and foreign intelligence agencies. The author finally buried most of the relevant data, drawings and sample components in his backyard and turned them over to Coalition forces before emigrating to the United States. Pitzer was embedded for U.S. News & World Report with the army's 3rd Infantry, but left them as Baghdad fell, met Obeidi and played a role in the transfer of the documents. Together, they have produced an eloquent tale of a scientist who spent 20 years in a "damned if I do and damned if I don't situation" and survived with family and sanity intact. (Sept. 24)

Reviewed on: 09/20/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Paperback - 242 pages - 978-0-471-74127-5
Open Ebook - 259 pages - 978-0-471-69663-6
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-470-35371-4
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